As a New York Green Contractor, here at EcoBrooklyn we focus mainly on one aspect of reaching sustainability, and that is by green building. But of course, this is just one way to approach sustainability. Colleges for instance, are trending towards setting up sustainability initiatives. They generally include some specific measures that will make them more “green”, such as pledging to use biodiesel in all campus buses, or promising to spit out 30 research papers that are related to sustainability.
We looked at local Brooklyn College and the University of Michigan. These two schools were chosen based on their differing sizes, settings, and regions. Michigan is a very large school in a small city in the Midwest. Michigan recently started the Graham Institute, which pays students and professors to work on sustainability projects. They also have Planet Blue, which is more of a University wide program that includes promises like reducing carbon emissions 25% by 2025 (25 is a nice number).
Brooklyn College does not have the huge programs and institutions that Michigan does, but they do have a 10-year plan, which includes a pledge to reduce carbon emissions 30% by 2017. Brooklyn College is collaborating with PlaNYC as well as many other organizations across the city. BC also has a sustainability roundtable for students and faculty to engage in.
Although these approaches are very different, there is not an obvious winner. If you would like more information on either school, here are some links: http://www.graham.umich.edu/, http://sustainability.umich.edu/, http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/bc/spotlite/sustainability/index.html. Or if you would like to start a debate, go ahead!